By: Claire Biggs, Regular Contributor
Image from csmonitor. com
I’m a girls’ girl.
Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t have friends that are guys, but if you look at my core group of BFFs, they’re all of the XX variety. For that reason, and many others, I’m all about protecting my girls.
Because I work for a site that champions celebs who do good (MTV Act Blog), I’m always keeping an eye out for the famous faces who are using their star power to help girls and women around the world.
So when a friend at mark let me know that their new brand Ambassador, Lucy Hale, would be helping the m.powerment by mark campaign raise awareness about dating abuse and partner violence, I was thrilled. I mean, what’s better than a young actress on a hit TV show talking about an issue that affects millions?
I feel like it’s only fair to confess that, like millions of other people, I’m a Pretty Little Liars fan. If you knew how many “Do you think (random Rosewood citizen) is A?” texts I’ve sent, you’d probably be embarrassed for me. Don’t be. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, so I unashamedly throw myself in front of my TV each week so I can tear my hair out waiting for the four girls to finally figure out all the answers to all of their questions: “Who is A?” “Who is red coat?” “Is Ali dead or alive?”
But I digress.
Needless to say, I was a Lucy Hale fan before that email landed in my inbox. Now, however, that girl crush is at an all-time high. It was particularly good timing, because I had just had a few heartbreaking and rage-inducing conversations with a friend who was in an abusive relationship.
And it’s not uncommon. Like the PLL star shares: one in four women will be abused by her partner in her lifetime.
You’d think it would be an easy thing, convincing girls that they don’t deserve to be abused, but it’s not as simple as that. Dating abuse is complicated, and as my friends would tell you, it involves a lot of manipulation. It’s not hellish from day one; it’s usually normal and wonderful and everything else that a relationship is in the beginning.
Dating abuse and partner violence don’t discriminate. It affects girls and guys regardless of their race, their level of education, or their financial status.
The worst part, as an outsider, is that sometimes you don’t find out a friend’s relationship is abusive until after the fact. It’s one thing to have that truth hit you when your friend is safe and removed from the situation, but it’s hard to stomach when you consider that you could have friends who are currently struggling against dating abuse and partner violence and are dealing with it in secret.
That’s why Lucy’s PSA and the m.powerment by mark campaign hits close to home with me. We have to make sure our friends know that, no matter what, we’ll believe and support them if they need our help. Something as simple as a text to a friend can let him or her know that you’re there no questions asked.
If you want to help mark break the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence, you can share Lucy’s PSA or visit mark’s site for more ways to get involved.
About Claire: Claire Biggs landed what she thinks is one of the best jobs in the world writing for MTV’s pro-social blog, MTV Act. She’s a writer who watches too much TV and reads even more books. She’s probably on Twitter (@ClaireMBiggs) right now.